On island for a yea...
 

On island for a year. --- What now?  

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eiplanner
Posts: 26
(@eiplanner)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago

O.K. so hypothetically I have been on island for a year; made my move, found a place to rent, gained employment, learned to drive again, accepted the pace, and settled in with the bugs. What happens now?

I'm very curious as to what the longer term realities are because I feel, through reading, that this is more why people end up leaving than the initial culture shock. I think the single largest mistake that we paradise seekers make (and please correct me if I am wrong) is to not consider what happens after the initial to-do list is complete, the island has been explored, and the hum drum routine sets in, This isolation and boredom aspect seems to be hugely underestimated. Even anticipating that the boredom will come cannot prepare a person. It's the most unpredictable variable in the happiness equation. There's no other way to find out but to actually live it. What's hilarious is that: times can be so trying that people are actually measured by their ability to tollerate them. This is where the pride comes in for those that have been on island the longest. Its as if their strong will and reliable coping skills somehow make them the winners. (Please don't take offense because none is intended, It's just an observation that tends to come out of all the stories and replies I've read on here) It's just human nature and it's that way no matter where you are. Veteran always trumps novice. However; I don't feel it is reason enough to keep old islanders from associating with new islanders. That's one of the things I've read over and over and cannot understand. What makes one person's dream of making a new life in paradise and different than any other's?

Now I've gone off topic and haven't gotten to what I was looking for in the first place. All responses and opinions on any of that would still be greatly appreciated but what I'm really after is the "What do you do after settled in?" question. Do you associate with a lot of other people? (dinners, get togethers, cook-outs and that sort of thing) Do you rely only on a couple really close friends? Do you save up for vacations elsewhere? Do you travel back to your homeland often? Are you active in the community? Are there many community activities? I basically would like to know what it is that you do to shun the boredom bug that keeps you happy enough to stay and feel like you don't ever want to move because, quite frankly, it's the nothing to do here boredom bug that currently makes me not want to stay in Oklahoma. I feel as though I could be bored in a lot better places than here. I am outdoorsy by nature and we have no mountains, no beaches, no good lakes, or any of the things I enjoy. I like things like fishing, hunting, skiing, scuba diving, boating, jet skiing, bike riding, camping and almost anything outdoors.

48 Replies
VIsnorkeler
Posts: 551
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago

It's been about a year and four months for us and there are still lots of things to do. I love outdoor stuff, hiking and snorkeling, mostly. I'd like to learn to dive. I'll get to it one of these days. There are GORGEOUS places to snorkel and hike on STT, then add in STJ with the national park (and plenty more to explore out of it.) My bf and I agree, we aren't leaving until we have done everything. And the more we do, the more we discover there is to do. We cured the "rock fever" by taking a trip back to the states to load up on a few things (like my favorite kind of instant oatmeal I can never seem to find, that sort of thing) and raid the storage unit (SO SO SO GLAD we stored nearly everything!!) and of course, visit friends and family. I know, however, that we won't be here forever, more because we both love travel and the adventure of a new place, but I think it'll be a couple or three more years.

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East Ender
Posts: 5326
(@east-ender)
Expert
Joined: 14 years ago

I don't think you should look down the road a year. If you move here, figure out what you'd like to do . I know people who have a list- learn to scuba, sail, kiteboard, go to X other islands, etc. Give yourself 6 months at least. If you are done with your list and you can't stand it, go. If you are just getting started, give yourself another 6 months to a year. VIsnorkeler has the right idea.

Rock fever doesn't happen with everyone.

And I agree with OT. One of the most difficult things here is losing people. You make friends, you invest in that friendship and that person is up and gone. You start gravitating toward folks you know who have been here longer than you have. And the folks who get here and are unhappy are really difficult- always with the negative waves so early in the morning. You need to have an escape hatch so you can go back to the states in case you find yourself in that situation.

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WillsSweetPea
Posts: 27
(@WillsSweetPea)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago

I don't know if I can help with this discussion... I know we are looking at moving to the Islands. We are retired Military so I'm thinking you do your homework as anyone should do before a major move. Do your pre-move visit & go from there.

Being retired Military... it's always hard to see a friend move a long distance, however, they don't stop being your friend & we've stopped through out our travels to visit with close friends when we could. We keep in touch through emails & facebook. I remember back in the day when First Class Mail is all we had.

I love warm weather, so I know I'll be much happier there. I don't need a lot of entertainment for the most part I can entertain myself. Sounds as if you love warm weather activities & that will keep you busy. I love beautiful flowers, tropical flowers, being outside, the beach, etc. My hubby & I are both warm weather individuals. We live in a big city now & unless money is no object then you never can afford to do everything you want.

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blu4u
Posts: 842
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago

A good job, that you LOVE and pays well, is the answer. Family ties help-spouse, kids in school. There is not enough "to do" to keep most socially active folks content seven days a week. Work. Get involved in something besides yourself. Stay out of the bars.

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eiplanner
Posts: 26
(@eiplanner)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago

Thanks to those who are willing to post on such diverse issues. I am a good 2 years out from being able to really make any attempt at moving from Okla. (2 daughters still in college, living at home) but I would like to spend this time really trying to gain some insight from those of you in the know about island life. My wife and I are planning a trip to STT this summer to get away for a bit and check out some of the things on the island. I was there 22 years ago while in the Navy and thought it (STT) was the most beautiful place I'd been. And I saw a lot of places to compare it with.

I do have to say that a lot of the issues brought up and explained on these boards tend to make me hesitant or at the very least cautious about jumping into it. First off, I've read so many stories of those that decided to go on a whim and showed up with not enough money and then got caught without enough to leave. That's the very first thing in the definition of 'miserable'. Life is bad no matter where you are if you can't afford to get by. It's even worse if you can't get out of that bad situation. I am not a wealthy person by any means (middle class at best) so I have a great understanding of what it takes to come up with money you don't have. I admire those that have had the guts to take the plunge because most people sit back and only wish they would have tried and always wonder if they would have liked it.

The reasons I am looking into it so far in advance are many but up on the list are job options (so I can maybe aquire some new skills or education requirements in the meantime to make myself more employable), housing and cost of living (so I will know what suitable employment really means), moving and setup expenses (so I can be financially prepared), and tieing up loose ends (downsizing my life here and preparing my wife and I as well as those around us for our prolonged absence). I'm not so sure my daughters are feeling the reality of it yet.

I like the take it six months at a time idea because one never really knows what they will want at any given time in the future; however, I want to approach it from here as if we are going for the long haul so that I don't come over already believing that I will be leaving. I think a person tries harder to make it work when they believe there aren't other choices.

Prior to checking out this sight and hearing from you guys I had already planned this part, but now that I have gotten some feedback, I am completely convinced it is the most important part: I will have an emergency fund large enough to get us back home as well as keep us floating until we are reemployed. A way out, an escape, a safety net, or any version thereof seems to be the most resounding advice there is. I also think that always knowing the door is open to return and the means available to do it would allow a person to at least maintain a positive mental outlook about living there. It's always a lot more fun to voluntarily do the dishes than it is to be forced to do them.

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